Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I think ‘commitment’ is a term that is hard for my generation to understand. Ours is a world where almost everything is done for you; people expect immediate results and everything to be easy. You’re hungry? You can have a meal in less than five minutes from the microwave. Can’t remember the name of the cute one from NKOTB? Google will tell you in a matter of seconds. (It’s Jordan, by the way) Wanna get married? Hop on a plane to Vegas and hit up a chapel. Bada-bing! You’re hitched. And if it doesn’t turn out, you can just get divorced, right? No big deal.
My grandparents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Holy shit. 60 YEARS! That is two of my lifetimes. In their 60 years together, it certainly could not have been all rainbows and lollipops. They have suffered the loss of a son, a grandson, and a great-grandson. They have also been able to experience the joys of watching their 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren grow. There have been numerous ups and downs, I’m sure. But they did it all together. Because they love and are committed to one another and their marriage.
I’m sure all of us have something we are struggling to remain committed to. Be it working out; eating healthfully; your marriage; your job. It’s hard. It’s supposed to be. “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy”. I strive to remain committed to my yoga practice. It’s hard for me to find time to practice the asanas (postures) with my girls at home. And even harder for me to remember to bring the teachings of yoga into the rest of my life. But I am committed to finding the time, everyday, for me and my family. Because the better I take care of myself, the better I can take care of my family. For me, it’s family first. And that’s one thing I can easily commit to.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A New Perspective

My intention was to post once a week on here, usually every Thursday. I was inspired to write earlier though, so I did. I was going to wait until Thursday to post this, but I thought, ”This is my blog, I can post whenever the fuck I want to.” I can also write the word fuck. Fuck. (Oh fuck, don’t tell my mom!)


I was picking apples from our apple tree in our backyard recently. When I was done (or thought I was) I decided to look the tree over again, just to make sure I had gotten them all. I went around and found a few stragglers. My neck was hurting from looking up all afternoon, so I decided to crouch down to relieve some pain and to get a different point of view of the tree. As I looked up, there it was. The largest, greenest, most beautiful apple on the tree right above my head. I plucked it from the branch and thought to myself, “If I hadn’t looked at this tree from a different perspective, I never would have found that apple”.

Later that same day I attended my weekly yoga class. I remembered reading somewhere that the next time I’m in class, I should set up my mat someplace different than my “usual” spot to gain a new perspective. So I set up on the other side of the studio, where I had never been before. Honestly, I didn’t like it, and will probably move back to my same old spot next time. I found it more difficult to see the instructor and, being a keener, I like to have a solid reference point so I know if I’m where I should be. However, I did end up having a bit of a laugh with the lady who had set up shop next to me (it was really more of a mutual snort and grimace as we tried to hold plank pose after some serious ab work).

I guess what I learned that day was, even though it might make you uncomfortable, looking at some thing from a new angle may help you to realize something beautiful you didn’t even know was there.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yoga and Me with Child

I would love to tell you that after my first experience with yoga I went on to become a full fledged yogi, practicing everyday, and am now a master. I would love to tell you that, but I can’t, because I didn’t. I went to a handful more classes and then found out I was pregnant with our second daughter.
Unfortunately, via a group of misinformed doctors and nervous yoga instructors, I was advised not to practice yoga during my first trimester of pregnancy. So I quit. My husband was soon being moved ahead in his work and we were on our way to Moose Jaw, SK.
I continued my workout regime with an old pregnancy aerobics workout I had on VHS from the ‘80’s. While I (lightly) bounced around my living-room mimicking women clad in fluorescent coloured leg warmers and leotards, yoga became something I had tried a couple of times and really liked, but just didn’t have the time for. I was also nervous to try it again, even after my first trimester, because of past complications with my pregnancies, and the fears the doctor had instilled in me.
After our daughter was born though, I knew I needed to get back into shape, and was ready to try yoga again. I had an old friend who pointed me towards the venue in Moose Jaw where she practiced, Body In Mind Yoga Studio. I met Tracy, the fabulous owner of the studio, attended my first class with her, and haven’t looked back.
My yoga practice enabled me to build my body back up after another c-section and regain my sanity after a prolonged case of the “baby blues”. After becoming pregnant with our third child, my practice during my first trimester helped me to keep calm while my hormones raged out of control and relieved my back pain.
Recently, after the devastating loss of our son during my 5th month of pregnancy, yoga is helping to bring me back physically, emotionally and spiritually. Without it, I would be a puddle on the floor.

Note: Yoga, for most women, is absolutely okay to practice during your first trimester, and throughout your pregnancy. The benefits are too many to name. But you MUST check with your doctor first. There are definitely some poses you need to avoid while pregnant, so have a good chat with your doctor and your instructor first.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yoga and Me

I first met Yoga when my oldest daughter was about 2 years old. Yoga seemed to be the new “in” thing; the latest fad; what all the cool kids were doing. I was looking for something to get my ass into shape, and an excuse for some time away from my (beautiful) child. I decided to try it.
The studio I attended was in an odd part of town. Surrounded by a trucker’s motel, a church of a certain denomination I had never heard of, and a gas station. To say the least, the area didn’t provide that “Zen-like” environment I had envisioned a yoga studio would be placed in.
I was nervous, not knowing what to expect. Wondering if I would look a fool to everyone else in the class. When I walked into the studio, there was a buzz in the air. People chatting quietly, placing their mats, getting ready for class. Some appeared to be meditating. I chose a spot near the front (I’ve always been a keener), unrolled my mat, and sat cross legged like the woman next to me was doing.
Finally the lights dimmed, the music was playing, and our practice began. I found out later we were practicing Ashtanga yoga. There was not much instruction; I dove in and mostly copied whatever the people around me were doing. I began to sweat and realized how hard I was working, and how good it felt. I practiced breathing the way the instructor told me to - deep breath in through the nose; long, exaggerated exhalation. I looked around and realized no one was looking at me (I’m not that special) - they were too busy concentrating on their own practice.
The exercise started to wind down. I felt good, but was still wondering if Yoga was for me. The instructor encouraged us to lie down on our mats, that we would be practicing our last pose, Savasana (I just learned how to spell that). I laid down and felt a little uncomfortable. Was everyone else doing this? Am I just suppose to lay here? With the sounds of chanting in my ears (coming from the stereo), I began to relax and really enjoy just laying there. I hadn’t done that since my daughter was born, maybe even longer. I suddenly realized there was something wet running into my ears - I was crying. “Why am I crying?” I thought. The tears flowed out of me. An emotional release of things I had been carrying around with me for years. Pain, fear, happiness, loneliness …
I lay on my mat and wiped my tears and my heart felt like it did when I was a little girl. And that is when I fell in love with